Monday, October 06, 2008

Doodhsagar Falls - A guest post

One of my colleagues recently visited DoodhSagar Falls, and she wanted to blog about it. So I offered to let her be my guest blogger, here goes --

By Anin

Doodhsagar – India’s second tallest waterfall - every trekker’s dream

We are a group of friends who love trekking. All kinds – jungle trails, hillocks, moderate rock climbing.. And it had been quite sometime since we last did something like that. The last few months had been pretty hectic for all of us, workwise. We hadn’t got a chance to go out anywhere to refresh our minds!

One morning, a friend forwarded a mail which had these beautiful snaps of the Doodhsagar Falls. That was enough to light our fire within. We started Googling for info regarding its location/ how to reach/ facilities available, etc.

Surprise !!! We had a lot of hits for our search. But none gave any good info on how to reach this place. We read through a lot of blogs, also went through the Goa Hiking Association links – but none of them elaborated enough on this place. Such a beautiful Waterfall, and hardly any info abt it on the net??? Well what a pity!

So, then we made up our minds – we bunk work for couple of days around the coming weekend and go checkout this lovely place by outself, and most importantly, when we return, we blog about it !!!

Doodhsagar Waterfalls is situated in the Western Ghats, in the state of Goa (Karnataka-Goa border actually). Its about 130 Km from Belgaum. About 80 Km from Panaji.

This is how we reached the Trail head –

We had to visit a friend in Belgaum. So we took the Rani Chennamma Express from Bangalore to Belgaum. The next day morning (September 5th), we boarded a Margoa bus at the Belgaum Bus Stand. The bus goes on the highway NH4A. Road is pretty good. Only in a few places it is a bit torn. It took us about 3 hours to reach this place called Molem. Molem – a small place - is located in the midst of the jungle. Very easy to miss this stop. So watch out! We got off at Molem. There are local mini buses which ply regularly between Molem and this another small village called Colem. We got into one of these and reached Colem. There is a railway station at Colem – but only for the goods trains. The foot of Doodhsagar Falls is 14 Kms from Colem. And the trail starts off from the Colem railway station.

From here there are two options –

1. Trek along the railway track for about 7 Kms in the direction of Doodhsagar. Then when you come to a tiny bridge – the railway track goes over a small stream beneath – get down to the stream, wade through the water, below the railway track and get onto the narrow muddy path. Just keep going along the path for the next 7 Kms. The path goes through thick jungle, sometimes gets steep. You will have to cross 4 more streams. Then you come to this moss covered Arch which says – Doodhsagar Waterfalls J. There is a security post and a restroom as you enter – but the jungle has grown over these and now its probably room for a few snakes.
2. There is an association of Bikers at Colem. They are about 20 – 30 of them. Each with a good pick-up & suspension bike. They can give you a ride for most of the distance and then take you till the foot of the falls. With one biker and one trekker on each bike, these guys drive just beside the railway track – on a 1.5 foot wide space. The stones of the railway track on one side and a 12 - 15 feet deep fall on the other side. It gets really scary balancing out there. But these guys are just too amazing – some of the best bikers we have seen. Then you get down and trek the rest of the distance to the falls. The bikers can accompany you, stay there as long as you wish, and then bring you back to Colem. Contact numbers of a couple of bikers - 9420768498 Jayendra, 9421244396 Daya. They will be happy to assist you!

Either way it is going to take a lot of nerve and energy. Be sure to have had some good food early morning.

From the Arch, it’s a good 2 Km trek again. But you know you are near to your destination, so its not so long. This is a pretty difficult stretch, lot of river crossing and climbing rocks. And finally you get to the foot of the waterfall, and you feel you have achieved something in your life. :)

It’s one of the most beautiful falls! You look up, you can see the railway track crossing across the falls hundreds or thousands of feet above you. Water in the fall looks just as white as milk – so you know how it gets its name. You can spend an hour or two there. Actually you don’t feel like leaving that pleace.. J But make it a point to reach Colem before it gets dark.

Carry lots of water. Beware of Leeches and Snakes. There are lots of them out there. You will be lucky if you don’t get a leech bite.

Other ways to reach this place –

Take a train to Castle Rock. From Castle Rock, get onto a goods train which goes to Doodhsagar. But in this case, there is no scope for trekking.

There is a Doodhsagar Resort, about a Km before Molem right by the side of NH4A. You can probably get in touch with them too. (their info is available on the net)

I think there are jeep drives from Colem between October and March. But don’t have much info about it.

If you have car/ bikes – its gonna be much easier. You can drive all the way upto Colem.

When you are searching for info on the net, you will find mention of Molem National Park being the seat of the Doodhsagar falls. Please ignore this. This National park is long closed and its very misleading.

I have trekked to Vyasa Guha in the Himalayas, Yosemite in California and the White Mountains in New Hampshire (apart from many small hills back in India). Of them Doodhsagar has been a special one.:) Its a great Trek! Go for it! We are happy we did!

Hyperlink Image Courtesy : Giri


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